$150,000 Microcar? 1957 Brütsch Mopetta

Most normal people have certain keywords that they use when they’re searching for cars, like V8, muscle car, 0-60 times, etc. For me, it’s microcar, one-seater, chain-drive, two-stroke pull-start engine, etc. Hey, that sounds just like this 1957 Brütsch Mopetta! This ultra-rare microcar will be auctioned here at the RM|Sotheby’s auction in Paris on February 6th. Their auction estimate – are you sitting down? €90.000 to €120.000 which is approximately $115,668 to $154,224. Thanks to Sasha for submitting this rare microcar find!

A show of hands for those of you who will be cashing in most of your retirement funds in order to bid on this Mopetta? Ok – 1, 2.. hmm.. is that it? That isn’t too many seeing that I’m one of those two people. I don’t know what it is about microcars and tall people. I’m a little under a foot taller than this car is long, maybe that’s part of the appeal. There is absolutely no way that I could fit in this thing but I’d still love to have it. With a 25-30-MPH top speed, it would easily be passed up by any of my oddball Japanese market scooters, or maybe even by me on my 1974 Schwinn Varsity. Still, it would be fun to own.

It looks like a car from a ride at the carnival, doesn’t it? You’ve all heard of Mercedes-Benz and most of you know the Stuttgart, Germany connection. The Brütsch Mopetta was also made in Stuttgart by Brütsch and the Mopetta was just one of their microcar creations. Now that’s a company that I can get behind. The reason why you may have not seen one of these before is that the company only made 14 of them and only a handful of them are thought to still exist, making it incredibly rare. Along with the 25-30 MPH top speed goes a 111 MPG number. If those two numbers could somehow be averaged out you’d have a really fun, scary car to drive. (This is when the “Drop a Hayabusa in it!” comments should be inserted into the comments section)

GPS, Bluetooth, touchscreens, heated seats and steering wheel, heated and cooled cupholders, etc. For the record, those are things that you’ll never see in a 1957 Brütsch Mopetta unless someone is either really creative in Photoshop or the next owner chooses to significantly upgrade this example. Speaking of this example, this car sold previously at the Brooklands auction in 2017 for £46,000 or $59,119. The microcar collector world is on fire if the auction estimate is double or triple that just two years later. This is a 3-speed, believe it or not, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to sit in this car and even more so, to drive this car. Here’s a YouTube video of a similar car in action for kicks and giggles. There’s nothing like that two-cycle sound, I love it.

Here’s the instrument making that great sound, an ILO V50, a 50 cc two-stroke air-cooled single. This car reportedly is in good running condition and is currently registered for the road in the UK. One of its claims to fame is that “it completed one of the slowest laps ever around Goodwood during the 2006 Revival.” That’s my kind of car. Are any of you microcar fans? Any thoughts on the auction estimate on this Mopetta?

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Comments

  1. Capriest Member

    I must be missing something I just don’t get it. Aside from the low production numbers I don’t see what sets it apart or makes it special compared to any other oddball microcar one could get for 4 figures? Does it have some kind of Euro cultural significance or something? I’d have trouble justifying 2 grand for this if flipping was not an option. There’s a lot of other old silly ugly relatively useless yet rare contraptions out there that aren’t worth squat. Have people just gone that mad for anything air cooled and German made before 1970?

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  2. Pat L Member

    This looks like a motorcycle sidecar minus the motorcycle.

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    • ROBERT

      looks like a trike with fiberglass body built around it!!!

      1
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Pat you beat me to it if I had this thing I’d pull the body off its frame and mount on a side car frame with some other mods as well. You could install it on a vintage BMW. Colour match the paint and then you’d have something.

    • TC Oztralia

      And in Australia, because it has a windscreen it must have a windscreen wiper, not a leather driving glove like the guy in the video, …… no wiper = no rego!
      Dumb laws!

  3. John M.

    $150 grand for this little roofless thing? A nice vintage Mopar muscle car that’s sought after commands that kind of dough so it’s a no brainer for me on what I want to drop the money on.

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  4. Fordguy1972

    Take off three zeros and maybe I’ll be interested. I don’t get the amazingly high pre-sale auction estimate, never mind the fact the seller already paid $60k for it. I understand that rarity is a factor in high prices but usually quality materials, design and craftsmanship are present. It’s like saying a rare table lamp from K-Mart is worth more than a Tiffany Studios lamp. While I can appreciate the quirky, odd-ball nature of this motorized sidecar, it was a cheaply-made conveyance for people who couldn’t afford a real car.

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  5. daCabbie

    This is NOT a car…

    it’s a motorcycle or a scooter, barely.

    “only a handful of them are thought to still exist,” because the rest of them rolled over killing their owners in a firey death.

    I haven’t/wouldn’t drive anything with an odd number wheels since I had trying wheels on my unicycle.

    And the auction estimate makes me label this one a scam.

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  6. Howard A Member

    All this tells me, and reaffirms the fact, that people with a lot of money just don’t know what to do with it. Can you imagine, at this price, what kind of person would even consider buying this, after driving their Rolls, you think they are going to be seen on this? Maybe, but more than likely, it will get shoved in the basement garage, with all their other unused collectibles, just so their rich buddies can say, “well bought, Felix”. IDK, it’s a life most of us will never see,,,except cyclemickey maybe,,:)

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  7. Jack in NWPA Member

    Still has the original baggage claim tag…that’s why the $

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  8. Coventrycat

    A lot of money for an amusement park ride. Must be the Grand National of the micro car world.

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  9. David Rhoces

    absolute nonsense

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  10. Andy Lee

    Well you lot, you may not get it, but watch this and…perhaps you WILL get it….

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fo1ngtXoXI

    • leiniedude Member

      Great video Andy, thanks! Man, what a chick magnet. I think if it was mine, I would fasten a small free wheeling propeller on the front. Letting it spin when I had the hammer down. Thanks again, Mike.

  11. Mike

    I don’t get the “I don’t get” car people. You would think by now that crazy things sometimes sell for crazy prices. Just go with the flow, put it in your mental database and when you run across an obscure cult car in the future at some give away price, you won’t be scoffing at it, but thinking about cashing in on it. Old VW buses are a prime example.

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  12. Beatnik Bedouin

    Those of us who collect old motor scooters seem to have an attraction for microcar oddities like the Mopetta. However, the price of admission to this particular carnival ride is OTT.

    Obviously, it’s being pitched at the ‘investors’ market. For my retirement money (and I am retired), I’d rather have the Acoma Mini-Comtesse Break that I posted yesterday or perhaps the car pictured above? The latter apparently is really handy when one is being pursued by rollerskating ninjas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4s6zFVm9qI

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    • Tony

      Only problem with these tiny ‘cars’? You have to pull over to the side of the road and get out if you want to change your mind, there’s not enough room inside to do stuff like that !

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  13. Matt

    Love it! Scarcity can easily effect price and this proves it. Looks like something Daffy Duck should be driving.

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    • TC

      Matt, I just happen to have a full set of shiny bright Hens Teeth if you’re interested not all that cheap but find another set in a similar condition, and talk about ‘scarce’!
      Call me.
      TC

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  14. Rex Rice

    Looks like fun! I offer 500 yen.

  15. Peter

    One wheel at the front and two wheels at the back make for an unstable vehicle that will roll over forwards on an angle. I understand this is why Honda stopped making three-wheelers and went to quads. Imagine rolling this at 30km/hr. I suspect you would at least have a scratched forehead.

  16. Don

    Wrap a flotation device around it and you have a bumper boat.

  17. Kvetak

    Hi, if you want to, here is link to my Zundapp Janus 250, 1958. Even if it’s tiny, you can even put their seats and sleep in it.

    https://kvetak33.rajce.idnes.cz/2017_7_Zundapp_Janus_1958/#Janus1.jpg

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    • Chas

      @Kvetak: I LOVE your Zundapp Janus! It is gorgeous and the colr is fantastic. I also have a Zundapp Janus project, but I am not sure that I will ever get to complete it.

      • Kvetak

        Thank you, if you want contact me through google to share Janus stories. Here are some video: https://youtu.be/ZF78-P_26Mg, you find my contact there.

  18. Fernando Abruna

    I love it!
    It takes a certain kind of collector to appreciate these beauties for their quirkiness and underlying beauty in efficiency of resources and gas mileage.

  19. Børge Valdemar Jørgensen

    When this THING ? Can cost so many money because microcars is a trend I look forward to see real cars with low productions numbers be worth what they diserve Nash Kaisers studebaker ,make lots off low productions numbers, hope some off you got some. Thanks the Dane

  20. michael h streuly

    Different strokes for different folks as they say. 150 large is alot to pay for whatever that is. I bid $150.00.

  21. Chas

    They only made seven or eight complete Brutsch Mopettas and several spare body shells as Egon Brutsch was somewhat of a scam artist, and as he toured Germany looking for investors, they would ask for collateral for their investment (usually around $10K). Brutsch would unstrap the spare body shell that he had placed on the roof of his regular car and leave it with the investor as collateral for their investment.
    These tiny travel pods are quirky, unusual, fun and worth stupid money these days, precisely because of their scarcity. I found and bought a complete 1957 Brutsch Mopetta in Spain approximately twenty years ago before the values had gone crazy, and enjoyed it for several years, before selling it to a collector in Japan approximately twelve years ago. I thought that the price was crazy then, and now they are worth significantly more today.
    This particular owner has two Brutsch Mopettas but one has some reproduction parts including a reproduction body shell. This particular car offered at auction, is the more desireable original example of the two, and is worth significantly more than the other one that he has chosen to keep. It will be interesting to watch this auction unfold.

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